shenandoah-valley1Have been lost in this brutal war too long. Can’t help comparing it to the current division being whipped up between Americans by the media. If they would stop their twenty-four hour a day rants, would there be so many people marching on what is usually a day of celebration for the inauguration of a new President? Not sure, since it has been the most polarizing election in recent history. Still, disturbing to see so many demonstrating and a shame about elected officials not showing up. Embarrassed for them and for our nation.

The last time our nation was so divided was when the country split over the issue of slavery, with the Democratic states refusing to give up, crying state’s rights, and the northern Republicans demanding the end to slavery. They had all been stirred to passionate positions by a sentimental novel written by a school teacher and staunch abolitionist, named Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The statistics listed on Wikipedia are extraordinary for this little book.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible.  In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States; one million copies in Great Britain. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called “the most popular novel of our day.”The impact attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared, “So this is the little lady who started this great war.”



The President and his family in front of the Lincoln Memorial made this moment in history a little more poignant. A man who has been married to two immigrants, whose children are first generation children of an immigrant. Toby Keith and Americans singing patriotic songs and watching magnificent fireworks were powerful and inspiring images.

Writing about politics is dangerous. Don’t wish to offend anyone.  But protestors are passionate too, stirred up about issues that began as Tweets but have emerged like vultures to rip at out unity and peace. Such ardent passions stirred are not so quickly diffused.


Fires Down the Shenandoah, Joanna of Virginia is the first book in my new Civil War Wives Series. Like most of my other books, it will look at the lives and struggles of young women in a simpler but harsher world.

The stories focus on the effect of the war on women and the men they love. Casualties during the dreadful Civil War, were over 1.5 million, more than all other American conflicts combined. Over 620,000 were killed on the battlefields, 476,000 wounded, and over 400,000 captured or missing. Many more lives were destroyed as families lost their lands, livelihood, and hundreds of thousands of Americans descended into poverty.

Writing about, living in the war-torn nation has been difficult. Part of creating fiction, but it was so terrible. It’s a shame, that a few politicians and their allies would want to divide Americans again. I’m praying that Trump means what he says about unifying the country, but it is looking like a heck of a job. This election has been horrendous and rending. When it ended, I expected the hate-filled rhetoric to stop. It seems to be amplified.

It is important for writers – whether in the press, on the news, on comedy shows, talk shows, or merely tweeting or posting on Facebook to remember.



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